Sue May Gill was born January 12, 1887 in Sabinal, Texas, the second
child of Asa Jones Gailey and Sue Louise Connally. As a teenager she
attended classes at the Chicago Art Institute. In 1910 Sue May Gailey
married Dr. Orville D. Wescott, a physician residing in Denver,
Colorado. Together they had one daughter, Mary Sue, in 1915. A doctor in
the US Army during WWI, Orville remained distant from his family and
diligent in his service to the government following the war, and the
couple eventually divorced in 1927.
Sue May was persuaded to join her sister Sarah in Philadelphia during
the years of separation from her husband and in 1919 she began her
study at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She took four years
of painting study and returned in 1932 for a year of training in
sculpture. Westcott won the prestigious Cresson Traveling Scholarship
Award from the Academy in 1922 for her Indian Maiden portrait.
she and Orville Westcott divorced, and shortly thereafter, she married
fellow artist Paul Gill, whom she had met in 1920 when they were both
students at the Academy. From 1928 until 1982, Sue May Gill resided in
English Village, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, in an English Tudor home that
contained studios for both her and her husband.
Gill's first major one-person exhibition was held in 1930 at the Art
Club of Philadelphia where her exhibition of sixty paintings --
portraits, floral still-lives and small street scenes from North Africa -
won unanimous critical acclaim.
In 1931 Sue May Westcott joined, the
Philadelphia Ten group, along with Susette Keast, whose numbers had
recently been reduced by the death of Cora Brooks. She remained an
active member of The Ten for the duration of the group's life and served
as its Chairman 1934 - 1935.
Known primarily as a portrait painter,
Gill also painted still-lives and landscapes and her work generally fits
into the Post-Impressionist, representational tradition.